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Ridgefield's Branchville School To Get New Playground

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. – Two years after Branchville Elementary School removed several pieces of old playground equipment, the Ridgefield school is getting an upgrade.

A new playground for the school will cost $32,253. About $18,000 of that was donated to the cause by the school's PTA and the Molly Ann Tango Foundation, a local nonprofit that assists families with special needs children.

During a recent Board of Education meeting, members read and accepted unanimously the donation of just less than $15,000 from the Branchville PTA.

The new playground will safely accommodate 430 or more students and increase accessibility. According to Superintendent Deborah Low, this new playground is modeled on the playground at Scotland Elementary School.

At Scotland, “the district took care of the surface, the town took care of any handicap access to it – doorways or ramps – and the PTA took care of everything else,” Low said. A similar approach has been taken with the Branchville playground.

In a memo about proposed budget for the playground from the Board of Education, the town will pay $6,500 for the access. First Selectman Rudy Marconi told the Daily Voice that he had not heard of the town paying for that, although he remembered approving the payment to Scotland Elementary.

“We did it at Scotland,” Marconi said. “I think I had one call about Branchville, but I haven’t spoken to anyone.”

The district is paying $7,850 for the rubber surface. The Molly Tango Foundation is donating $3,000 toward an accessible seesaw and swing seat.

“We are thrilled to be a part of each project,” said Debbie Haughney, a board member of the Molly Tango Foundation. The foundation, she said, has approved funding the $3,000 for all the elementary schools.

Do you have a child in elementary school? Tell reporter Alissa Smith what you think of the school playgrounds by emailing her or leaving a comment below.

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